Japan's population is 126 million. It is the world's 10th most populace country and over 35 million people live in the Greater Tokyo area.
Domestic tourism is highly developed and the Japanese love to travel. Hotels are full during weekends and holidays. Additionally, the strength of the US dollar vs Japanese Yen has resulted in an influx of foreign visitors.
While one can find staff at train stations who can communicate in English, announcements are in Japanese. I translated for J.J. that due to a problem with a track in Ueno, all train arrivals and departures are delayed by 15 - 20 minutes. These announcements were followed by expressions of profuse apologies.
To reach Kanazawa, the Shinkansen Kagayaki traversed Honshu from Tokyo on the Pacific Ocean to Kanazawa City in Ishikawa prefecture located on the Sea of Japan. About 73% of Japan is mountainous. During our
2 hrs 35 minutes trip, our train went in and out of numerous tunnels.
Arrived in rainy Kanazawa a little past . Our Hotel Dormy is located just 3 minutes walk from the train station through Forus, a contemporary department store complex with two floors of restaurants. After lunch, J.J. and went to Higashichaya, an old entertainment area. Even though it was cold and rainy, the district was full of tourists. It certainly was well worth the bus ride as the place was very photogenic.
Aloha -- Cathi